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Where can I go for advice on environmental water quality?

The Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring our bathing waters, waterways, dykes and ponds.

The Environment Agency routinely monitors the quality of certain designated bathing waters within the Borough. The samples are taken during the bathing season between May and September.

Bathing water profiles:

What can I do if I have a problem with my drinking water?

Anglian Water (opens new window) and Essex and Suffolk Water (opens new window) maintain the quality of drinking water in the Borough. If you have a problem with your drinking water you should contact your supplier in the first instance.

I am not on a mains water supply, where can I go for advice?

Private water supplies in England

In general terms, a private water supply is one that is not provided by a water company. Most of these supplies are situated in remote, rural parts of the country and can originate from a range of sources including boreholes, wells, natural springs, and watercourses.

Regulations governing private water supplies

The regulations in respect of private water supplies in England are the Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016 that came into effect on 27 June 2016. These regulations were amended by The Private Water Supplies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 that came into force on 11 July 2018.

The Water Industry Act 1991 is the primary national legislation and defines the powers and responsibilities of local authorities in relation to private water supplies and the definition of a relevant person(s).

Categories of private water supplies against current regulations
Regulation 9 suppliesLarge supplies and those used as part of a commercial or public activity (including some supplies to tenanted single dwellings)
Regulation 10 suppliesSmall supplies, including small shared supplies
Regulation 8 suppliesWhere a public supply is onwardly distributed to non-water company consumers on a secondary premises

Role of local authorities in regulating private water supplies

Local authorities act as the regulators for private water supplies and have a number of statutory duties under the Private Water Supplies Regulations. These regulations place a duty on local authorities to conduct a risk assessment of each private water supply within their area and to undertake monitoring in order to determine compliance with drinking water standards.

Under the regulations, the Council is allowed to charge for a risk assessment, monitoring of the supply, sample analysis costs and any investigations it has to take in relation to a supply.

Private water sampling fees
Risk assessment (large/commercial supply)£261.00
Risk Assessment (small supply)£134.00
Risk Assessment (single domestic dwelling)£67.00
Sampling (plus analysis costs)


Investigation (plus analysis costs)£67.00

The local authority has powers under the regulations to require that a supply is improved by the relevant person(s).

Supplies to single (domestic) dwellings

The majority of private water supplies in England supply only a single dwelling, where the water is used exclusively for domestic purposes (e.g. where the water is used for cooking, drinking, food preparation, bathing, showering and laundry) and where the water is not used for any commercial activity (such as bed and breakfast or tea shop/cafe).

The regulations in England do not require monitoring to be undertaken for these supplies unless the local authority is requested to do so by the owner or occupier of the dwelling.

If you need advice on the quality and treatment of your private water supply, please contact us.

Further information and advice can also be found on the website of the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) (opens new window).

Where can I get advice on local air quality?

All local authorities have a legal duty to annually review air quality in their area. Pollutant levels are reviewed and assessed against government air pollution objectives set out in the national air quality strategy.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council monitors levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in the atmosphere. 

As part of the review, the Council also considers other pollutants including sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, 1,3 butadiene and lead. Fortunately, the levels of these pollutants are currently negligible in the local air and are therefore not considered to be a problem.

You can find out about local air quality information from the Council's monitoring station on the Norfolk Air Quality website at Envista - Air Resources Manager (

Air Quality Reports

Through the Council's annual review of air quality, a report is submitted to DEFRA detailing the borough's air quality.

Further information

For more information on air quality, please follow the links below:

Where can I get advice about industrial pollution?

We enforce the Clean Air Act which prohibits the emission of dark smoke from industrial and commercial premises. Businesses must also ensure they do not cause a nuisance as described in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (opens new window).

Advice on commercial and industrial bonfires:

  • Do not burn any material that creates dark smoke such as paints, plastics, tyres etc; this is likely to lead directly to prosecution
  • Do not burn electrical cable to recover the metal
  • Do not burn straw or stubble left in a field

The operator is under a duty of care to dispose of waste according to the law.

Please note:

  • All building sites are commercial
  • All agricultural land is commercial

How do I get a chimney height determination?

If you are planning to erect a chimney or flue you may need to get the Council to set a minimum height. Complete a chimney height application to find out.

Note: you may also need planning permission.

Where do I find out about permits for industrial processes?

Certain industrial processes require a permit to operate from us or the Environment Agency (opens new window).

We are required to keep a Pollution Prevention Control Permit Register.

We have a statutory duty to carry out appropriate consultations when we receive new applications, variations and transfers of permits.

Following a recent application for an  exemption from waste operations (PDF) [779KB] , in regard to the treatment of waste brick, tiles and concrete by crushing, grinding or reducing in size, associated with the construction of the Third River Crossing, the following T7 Exemption (PDF) [141KB]  has been issued by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Are radiation levels monitored in the area?

We are a member of Norfolk Local Authorities Radiation Monitoring Group. The Government uses these findings to assess the national picture.

Radiation levels in East Anglia are some of the lowest in the country.

The Borough is not a recognised radon gas area.

Where can I find out information about cooling towers in the Borough?

We have a register of cooling towers.

You must notify us if you have a cooling tower or evaporative condenser and we will add your details to the register. Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992 provides a definition of notifiable devices.

The main purpose of these regulations is the control of Legionella and the investigation of Legionnaires' disease.

Where can I find information about the smoking ban?

It is an offence for people in England to smoke within an enclosed public space. All workplaces must display smoke-free signs. Contact Environmental Health if you need some signs for your workplace.

There are various penalties for smoking in a smoke-free workplace ranging from a £30 Fixed Penalty Notice to a £2,500 fine.

There are some exceptions to the Act; if you are unsure of your obligation, please contact us.

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